Grilled Tuna with Miso Shallot Caramel

Miso, Japanese bean paste, makes a sweet finish for this fish dish.

  • Servings: 14

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 1999


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 3 pounds tuna steaks, cut into 6 steaks, each 1 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the miso-shallot caramel, place sugar and about 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved and turns amber in color, between 10 and 12 minutes.

  2. Add shallots, and toss to coat. Cook, stirring until caramel is liquid again, 1 to 2 minutes. Add miso, soy sauce, star anise, Worcestershire sauce, and Marsala wine; stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until syrupy, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and discard anise.

  3. Transfer the mixture to the jar of a blender. Puree until smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

  4. Place sesame seeds in a small saute pan set over medium heat, and toast until seeds are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside to cool.

  5. Heat a grill or grill pan until very hot. Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper. Place tuna steaks on hot grill, and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Turn over, and continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer tuna steaks to a large cutting board; immediately brush tops with the reserved miso caramel.

  6. Slice each tuna steak diagonally into 3 pieces. Garnish with the reserved toasted sesame seeds, and serve.


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